If you are new to Neti pots, you might be curious about how safe they are and what kind of water works best. What kind of water should you use in a Neti pot, according to experts? Can you trust water from a fridge filtration system to be pure enough?
Refrigerator filter water is generally not suitable for use with a Neti pot. Boiled or sterile water is recommended by the CDC for sinus rinsing. Some water filters can be used with Neti pots if they have an absolute pore size of 1-micron or smaller. Most refrigerator filters do not have a fine enough filter to remove parasites from water.
So no, you can’t use fridge filtered water with your Neti pot. Keep reading to find out the best practices for using your Neti pot with filtered water.
Read my ultimate guide on refrigerator filters.
Safety When using a Neti Pot with Filtered Refrigerator Water
Neti pots are small devices used to clear the sinuses by flushing them with water, which is typically boiled or distilled before use. Neti pot usage involves leaning over a sink and watering your nose profusely until all of the congestion has cleared. However, if you plan to use filtered refrigerator water, there are some guidelines you should follow.
When deciding to use filtered fridge water in a Neti pot consider the following recommendations from the Centers from Disease Control:
- Use sterile, distilled, or boiled water.
- To be classified as safe, water for a Neti pot needs to be filtered through an absolute pore size filtration system of at least 1-micron.
- Most refrigerator filters do not have this pore size rating and, therefore, can’t be used for sinus rinsing.
- Look for “NSF 53” or “NSF 58” on the filter label. It must contain the words “cyst removal” or “cyst reduction” to be suitable for use with Neti pots.
It is important to note that most refrigerator filters do not have a 1-micron filter. You should assume that your fridge filter isn’t suitable for using with a Neti pot and use sterile, distilled, or boiled water.
Why It Is Important to Use Properly Filtered Water in a Neti Pot
Although sinus rinsing is great for clearing congestion, it’s also important to be aware that because of their location in relation to the brain, they are more vulnerable to harmful bacteria and microbes. Complications are extremely rare but have been reported.
Untreated water use in nasal irrigation has been linked to serious health issues, including:
- Balamuthia mandrillaris, which is a rare amoebic infection
- Naegleria which can lead to a disease known as primary amoebic meningoencephalitis
Although there are some risks involved, you can relax. All experts agree that as long as you use sterile water in your Neti pot, there is a minimal health risk.
The issue is that most refrigerator filters aren’t rated for cyst removal and can’t be used with Neti pots. Consult your fridge manual to see if your fridge water filter meets at least the recommended 1-micron absolute pore size for safety.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Filtered Fridge Water for a Neti Pot?
Having fridge filtered water on tap makes it easier to fill and use your Neti pot. This is only applicable if your refrigerator filter is NSF 53 or NSF 58 certified.
Water filtered in your fridge is much less expensive than buying saline solutions or a distilling unit.
1. Water temperature
While wonderful for drinking, the low temperatures of fridge filtered water might be too cold to use in your Neti pot. For more comfortable use, allow the water to warm up to room temperature.
2. Filter quality
The filter must be of good enough quality to remove harmful bacteria. Most refrigerator filters do not meet the requirements for removing cysts from water.
Look for the phrases: “NSF 53” or “NSF 58”, or “1-micron absolute pore size or smaller” when purchasing your refrigerator or filter.
What Conditions Are Neti Pots Used For?
Use safe, properly treated water to combat these common sinus problems.
If you’re suffering from chronic sinusitis or other nose and sinus conditions, you may benefit from using a Neti pot. Rinsing the sinuses out can help to clear out mucus and irritants and reduce inflammation.
Neti pots are also helpful for people who have allergies or colds, as clearing the sinuses can remove allergens and relieve congestion.
Who Can Safely Use a Neti Pot
Adults and children as young as 2 years old are cleared to use Neti pots – just use a child sized pot and check with their doctor first.
It is essential that you follow recommendations for the use of filtered water when using a sinus rinse on a child, as young children are much more likely to pick up viruses and illnesses.
Be aware that it can be difficult to get a child to use a Neti pot as the experience is a little awkward and uncomfortable.
Never use Neti pots on children younger than 2. To clear congestion in an infant’s nose, it is safer to use a specially designed nasal aspirator. Always check with their doctor before doing any procedure to your child.
Who Shouldn’t Use a Neti Pot
While a Neti pot can be a helpful tool for clearing out the sinuses, there are some instances when it’s best not to use one.
- If you have an active infection or open wound in your nose.
- If you are affected by sinonasal or lacrimal duct disorders, or if you have had facial surgery.
- Avoid using a Neti pot if you have had moderate or severe trauma to the nose, eye, or brain.
If you’re unsure about whether it’s safe for you to use a Neti pot, it’s always best to check with your doctor first.
How to Use a Neti Pot with 1-Micron Filtered Water
- Fill the Neti pot with your choice of filtered, boiled, saline or distilled water.
- Tilt your head to the side and place the spout in your upper nostril.
- Gently pour water through your sinuses. Breathe normally through your mouth as the water flows through and out your other nostril.
- Repeat on the other side
Continue this process as needed. You should notice results immediately. If your condition doesn’t clear up, stop using the Neti pot and talk to your doctor.
Final Though – Be Cautious Using Refrigerator Filter Water in your Neti Pot!
Filtered fridge water is generally not safe for use in a Neti pot. It is important to remember that not all filters are created equal. Be sure to check the filter type to ensure that your water is being filtered appropriately and that bacteria and other contaminants are not making their way into your Neti pot and sinuses.
If you have a standard refrigerator filter, you should use boiled, distilled or saline water in your Neti pot.